The continent of Africa has produced some of the most talented athletes on the planet, and as regions develop so do the bodybuilding communities in those areas. This article gives a brief glance into some of the talented bodybuilders that have been produced from the countries that make up Africa, and a general reference as to who they are and what they have accomplished in the sport. From Olympians to top amateurs, there is talent at every level of the sport in Africa.
Born in South Africa in April of 1985. Nicknamed Vusi the Bulldozer. He began his career back in 2005 while participating in the under 60kg category at the Asian Championships. He won the 2011 South Africa Bodybuilding competition (and was the first black man to do so) held at Port Elizabeth but failed to repeat in 2013. The bodybuilder placed in the 7th position at the the world IFBB competition in 2011. In 2012 he had a disappointing placing of 15th at the Arnold Amateur Classic Europe in the Super-Heavyweight category. Some analysts argue that he has failed to perform to his potential due to his arrogance, others due to lack of access to proper training facilities and resources. Nonetheless there are large expectations of him going forward, as he clearly holds the genetic potential, and unlike many of his African counterparts he has much better facilities at his disposal in South Africa.
He was born on September 10th 1980 in Cameroon, and though he is often referred to as French because that is his current location, many forget that he migrated first. Lionel made his debut at the 2009 Arnold Amateur where he finished 2nd to Roelly Winklaar. The next year (2010) he went on to attain pro status, a feat which was accomplished in less than a year, a rarity in the sport to say the least. He first made noise in the professional ranks in 2010 at the Phoenix pro where he placed fourth. It was after this contest that many commentators of the sport took note of him, and this hype carried over into the 2011 New York Pro where he had a good placing in a dense lineup. In 2012 even more waves in the industry were produced when Lionel won the FLEX pro show, formerly the debut contest of the season, beating talented athletes such as Shawn Rhoden. Though he often struggles to bring in conditioning, he has added an absurd amount of mass while in the professional ranks, and so because of this and his phenomenal placings, even with a less than perfect package at the Olympia level many have predicted him to be in contention for the title in the near future
The South African bodybuilder has arguably been the continent’s most successful bodybuilder who remains in the area. A former NABBA competitor who made the transition into the international IFBB like many other great champions, Dohne has quickly reached a level of success previously unachieved by other African bodybuilders at the time with his win at the 2011 IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Weekly Championships. Though he has had reported health issues throughout his professional career, and even at one point was rumored to have been pushed into retirement from these issues, Marius is dieting down currently to compete at the 2014 Arnold Brasil and looks well on point to be a threat for the title.
Born on the in December of 1966. In 2011 Shameen participated and won first place at the Muscle Mania Grand West Cape Town. This win qualified him for the Muscle Mania: Las Vegas, a competition that had over 600 contestants, which he went to on win as well. This same year he won titles in other organizations including the WFF-WBBF World Championship in Australia. Though he had competed outside of the IFBB up until that point, it was also in 2011 that he made his debut at the IFBB World Championships where he received 2nd place, and so he’s finally looking to make the transition into the big leagues by achieving IFBB professional status.
Born in Ghana, May of 1982, William was raised in the country but later migrated to Australia. In 2011 he made his international amateur IFBB debut at the Arnold Amateur competition in the heavyweight category, where he placed 3rd, and went on to turn professional the same year. In 2012, he was 6th and 3rd in stacked 212lb classes at the IFBB British Grand Prix and the IFBB Europa Super show, but it wouldn’t be until his debut in the open class that he would get proper recognition. Similar to Lionel, it wasn’t until his 5th place finish at the IFBB Evls Praque Pro that William got a fair look from the judges and commentators of the sport. Many consider this year to be his outbreak year though, as he finally has attained as high as a 2nd place finish, losing only to a elite competitors such as Shawn Rhoden. – (IronAffinity.com/William-Bonac-rising-ifbb-star)
Commonly called “Big Ramy”. He was born in the North-African country of Egypt to humble working-class beginnings, where he was a fisherman until just a few years ago. He ultimately put down the rod, and instead took up work at the legendary Oxygen Gym. It was at this gym where his talent was recognized and he found the resources necessary to successfully body build. It was in 2010 he decided to enter bodybuilding competitions, but it was not until 2012 that he made his debut by participating in the Kuwait Amateur Olympia, where he ultimately emerged victorious and attained pro status, as well as an invite to the Olympia. In 2013 at the New York pro, his first appearance at the event and rookie professional debut, Ramy managed to beat veteran Victor Martinez and clinch the title. Not only did Ramy win the contest as a rookie professional, beating a former champion such as Victor Martinez, but he also beat a number of other former champions of the same show who were competing such as Cedric McMillan. This was a huge achievement in a number of ways as the New York Pro is known as one of the most dense IFBB events outside of the Arnolds or Olympia, but also because Ramy has noted on multiple occasions that he idolized the former champion, Victor Martinez. At his Olympia debut as a rookie, Ramy was capable of placing in the top 10 just behind former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler, and many would argue that he looked better than Jay at this competition. Needless to say, Ramy’s hypothetical stock is rapidly rising and many believe he will be the one to push Phil for the ultimate title in bodybuilding, Mr. Olympia.
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